The debate continues to rage among Wordle players: has the New York Times ruined it? Why are there suddenly so many double-letter days (SWILL, seriously?); so many frustrating solutions that hinge on a single, ambiguous letter? And what about “caulk”? Has something changed? Or are people just losing interest? Since Wordle caught the world’s attention, there has been a fast-flowing stream of copycats and humorous takes on the word-guessing game, based on everything from swearing (Sweardle) to choral music (Byrdle) to geography (Worldle). If you’re looking for Wordle alternatives, though, rather than just an inventive twist on the same theme, the Android and Apple app stores have many other word games you can play on your phone. Fans have been quietly enjoying some of these for years – some offer a daily five or 10 minutes of puzzle fun, while others let you sink as much time into them as you want.
Guide To Wordle Alternatives
SpellTower is an inspired combination of Boggle and Tetris, in which players make words out of adjacent letter tiles in order to clear the play space. In the puzzle mode, subsequent layers of letters are continually added until the pile reaches the top of the screen and the game ends. It’s a unique and compelling test of both your vocabulary and your spatial planning skills, and like other Wordle alternatives it gets you to see words as tactical objects as well as units of language.
This is a really fascinating take on Scrabble, which gives you a selection of words and then challenges you to place them on the board without running out of playable spaces. It sounds easy, but if you add too many words in one corner you can soon come adrift, and you have to make careful use of the premium squares. Scrabble fans will enjoy the way the game explores word placement strategies, and success unlocks the more demanding “precise mode”, which requires players to finish on a specific square. Not for the faint-hearted.
Baba Is You
As much a logic game as a word game, this endearingly lo-fi puzzler has you shifting words around to change the rules. Unshiftable boulders can be pushed aside if you create the sentence ROCK IS MOVE; if there’s a key hidden down a maze, try KEY IS YOU and you can possess it and move it somewhere more accessible. It will outsmart you, but it will also make you feel like a genius when you crack it.
Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey
A kind of slightly violent Scrabble, in Letter Quest, you guide a cute little grim reaper through dungeons full of monsters, defeating them by conjuring impressive words from a panel of letter tiles. Any word will do damage, but the fun comes from figuring out particularly appropriate or long ones; there’s nothing quite as satisfying as defeating a werewolf with “silver”. It’s a lovely combination of word puzzles and old-school dungeon-delving adventure. Anyone who played the fondly remembered Bookworm Adventures, sadly now scrubbed from existence, will especially enjoy this.
In this gently bizarre, free game, you unscramble words from a hexagonal grid of letters to send little armies of exploding cats towards your opponent’s house. It’s quite frantic, rather than contemplative, and more fun against a friend (or a stranger) online, but there’s a single-player mode too, featuring surreal interactive comics.
This is not unlike Wordle – there’s a word that the game wants you to guess, and you have to puzzle it out – but this gives you a slot machine wheel of different letters, and you spin each column around with your finger until something makes sense. It also has a mode where you have to figure out several words from crossword-style clues, working with what you’re given. There’s something very satisfying about the tactile nature of Typeshift, like playing with a padlock combination made of letters.
Alphabear: Words Across Time
This is much cuter and weirder than anything you’ll find in a newspaper puzzle app – it features little collectible square-headed bears, and making longer, better words out of the letter grid in front of you creates more, bigger bears. It pairs word-building with the human appetite for collecting things. The words you’ve spelled then get made into absurd cartoons after every round. It’s very funny and adorable, and appealing enough to draw kids into some spelling-related fun.
Considered one of the most difficult versions of the viral game, Absurdle is just as hard as it sounds. The game requires you to guess one word at a time, but keeps changing the correct word after every chance. This depends on what green or yellow letters you grabbed in the previous chance.
For instance, if the word to guess is TIGER and you instead guess CRATE, Absurdle will note the correct letters, the T, R and E, and change the word from TIGER to something like STERN where the positions of the correct letter are now shuffled. Thankfully, the game does offer infinite chances.
Remember the relaxed nature of Wordle alternatives? Squabble throws that out the window, instead adding a battle royale twist to the game. Players now not only guess the right words with the help of coloured boxes, but do it along with a hundred more players attempting to do the same.
The goal? To keep the health-bar as high as possible to beat your competition. Taking longer on chances decreases your health, while getting correct guesses increases it. This isn’t a version for the faint of heart as you will be on the edge of your seat throughout.
It is exactly what it sounds like other Wordle alternatives. In WordleCup you play against competitors or against your friends and the goal is to not just guess a correct word but to beat your competition. You can customise the time of rounds, the length of the words (four to eight) and the number of rounds too.
Meanwhile, all other rules remain constant and you’re at the mercy of green and yellow letters to help get you to the right word before it’s too late.
A Wordle alternative for those who find the original too easy, Quordle has you try to guess four words at the same time, and with only three more chances to succeed.
Crosswordle. This takes Wordle and turns it into a crossword-style puzzle. Crosswordle starts with the final word at the bottom of a four-row word puzzle.
Whilst the real Wordle is completely free, the imitations popping up on the app store are riddled with advertisements and paid subscriptions. According to the website 9To5Mac, creator of the genuine Wordle Josh Wardle has pledged to keep the game free and ad-free, however does not own the trademark to the name.
Antiwordle is a game in which players have some chances to not hit the word of the day with rules similar to wordle, but in this case the objective is to lose. It is more difficult than wordle game and clues are different.
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